FORT SMITH, Ark. – OK Foods has joined other Arkansas-based poultry processing companies in raising pay for its hourly production workers. The Southwest Times Record reported that the hourly pay raise took effect on Feb. 28 and will show up in employee paychecks on March 11, according to an OK Foods news release.
More than 2,500 hourly production workers will receive an increase in pay. According to The Southwest Times Record, the new base pay rate for many of the entry-level production workers will be up to $10 per hour. The pay rate will increase after one year of service.
“OK Foods is committed to investing in its employees,” Christy Terry, vice president of People Services at OK Foods, said in the release. “Our company cares about the dedicated men and women who work in our production facilities. They represent the very best of our brand.”
Both Tyson Foods and Simmons Foods recently raised wages for hourly production workers to similar per hour rates.
MEAT+POULTRY previously reported that starting Nov. 1, 2015, hourly pay for production workers at approximately 40 Tyson Foods plants increased to $10 from $8 to $9 at some facilities. Maintenance and refrigeration workers at 51 of the company’s chicken plants also saw pay increases of varying amounts, the company said.
“We’re increasing pay to remain competitive in the labor markets where we operate and to retain the quality Team Members we need to keep running successfully,” said Noel White, president of Tyson Foods’ poultry business. “We believe we have the best team in the chicken business and we want to keep it that way.”
In addition, workers at Siloam Springs, Arkansas-based Simmons Foods’ poultry production facilities also received pay raises at the beginning of 2016. Starting pay for all production employees, full and part-time, advanced to at least $10 per hour effective Jan. 1.
In addition to the raise, OK Foods will continue to provide a “competitive benefits package to all employees,” according to Terry.
OK Foods was acquired by Celaya, Mexico-based Industrias Bachoco in November 2011. OK Foods employs more than 3,000 workers in Arkansas, Georgia and Oklahoma.